A Blog on Cinema

Using actresses for success


At some point Malayalam movies turned so macho that the heroine was reduced to a mere prop and in the middle of various action/superman movies. Lamp posts and guns got more screen time than heroines, but now things have changed. There is a new perspective – women are required in movies.

Dileep and Kavya Madhavan are called the lucky pair in Malayalam Cinema because most of their movies did not require the producer to sell of his house and start living in cardboard boxes. They have acted in almost 15 movies together and are just 10,000 films short of breaking the record held by Nazir and Sheela. Though their attempt at making the viewers pottan  failed miserably, they are on their way to making more and more movies. Kavya has been the lucky heroine for Prithviraj as well and the jury is still out on this whole lucky business or if the viewers are the unlucky ones.

While actors like Dileep need heroines, the established stars (defined as people acting in movies since film was invented) need only an item girl or a Bollywood pin up girl half their age. In the recent movie, Bada Dosth, Suresh Gopi danced with Meghna Naidu. In Balram vs Tharadas, Mammotty, the wig, and the Rayban roamed with Katrina Kaif in the streets of Dubai. Not to be left behind, Mohanlal is soon going to act with none other than the gifted actress Namitha.

Now if you don’t have a decent story you need to resort to gimmicks like this to attract viewers. If you have a strong or interesting story, the hero and heroine don’t even need to meet, touch or dance in New Zealand. Ranjith’s low budget Mammotty movie, Kaiyoppu has Khusboo as the heroine, but there are no scenes with both of them.

But it looks like the Malayali heroes have realized one thing – behind every successful hero there is a heroine (or at least an item girl).


  1. INTERESTING piece. But I am not sure if a heroine can turn around a Malayalam film’s fortunes. Yes, in Tamil and Hindi cinema, actresses or glamour girls have such importance. Even Mani Ratnam was forced to cast Mallika Sherawat in Guru. In the brilliant Tamil movie, Gajini, there was no need for a dumb actress like Nayantara. But she contributed to the film’s success. In fact, the performance of Nayantara was the only sore point in the movie. And in Malayalam, I read that Mammooty insisted on casting Katrina Kaif in Balram vs Taradas. That is what its director Liberty Basheer wrote in a Malayalam magazine. But the ploy did not work. But some pairs create a good chemistry. Such as Mohanalal-Shobahana, Mammooty-Suhasini and Dileep-Kavya.

  2. Wonder why Female lead (female character being the main protagonist) movies are so difficult to succeed, especially when pathetic TV soap operas are so successful.

    We have some very talented young actresses, but whenever there is a female protagonist based movie it is always in the art category (Nandanam may be an exception).

  3. Who is gonna see a movie for the sake of the actress??…Heroines in malayalam lack the ability to bringin crowds…Added to that,contrary to tamil and telugu, malayalee audience doesnt encourage heroine’s ‘anatomy exhibition’ in mallu films…

  4. this is a very strong peice of writing…i think that heroines are very important!!! kavya madhavan is the best actress. My sisters name is kavya. I think kavya madhavan and prithiraj should get married, they make the cutest couple. Bye hope you treasure my opinion

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